Moldova's efforts against corruption
With the potential of joining the EU moving closer to reality, Moldova is engaged in a broad-based effort to fight corruption – in particular, ending impunity for well-connected political and business interests who rob public coffers.
Among the package of reforms is passing the country’s first whistleblower protection law. A first big step toward reaching this goal was taken on 25 May 2017, when Parliament passed a Law on Integrity that includes Moldova’s first-ever provisions to shield whistleblowers from retaliation.
Following up on this victory, a proposed “Law on the Protection of Whistleblowers” was released in October for consideration in Parliament. If passed, the law would be among the strongest in Europe. It includes many European and international standards, including:
- protection for public and private sector employees
- a designated public agency to investigate disclosures and complaints
- the right to disclose directly to the public and the media
- a wide range of remedies and relief
- criminal penalties for retaliation
- acceptance of anonymous reports
Leading this effort is Moldova’s National Anticorruption Center, in cooperation with the UNDP. Blueprint for Free Speech, a Change of Direction partner, provided expert input on the proposed law and participated in a series of consultations and trainings with government officials and NGOs in 2016. Out of these meetings, a working group comprised of officials and activists was formed to develop the proposed law.
In January 2017 an in-depth article on whistleblower cases in Moldova, “Whistleblowers on Their Own,” was published. Written by the Resource Center for Human Rights and the Anticorruption Alliance, the article is available in English and Romanian. The organizations also produced a documentary film of the same name, in Romanian with English subtitles.
Momentum to improve accountability and transparency within Moldova’s government institutions has picked up since its Association Agreement with the EU took effect on July 1, 2016. The treaty is a first step toward possible EU membership.